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Getting to Know a New City Before You Move There

Thinking about moving to a new city? Good for you! But also: take a deep breath, because this is a big deal. Whether you’re moving for a job or just looking for a fresh start, uprooting your life to relocate somewhere new is exciting, yes, but it’s also a complicated and daunting endeavor. 

How do you decide if a certain city is the right place for you? How do you get a feel for what a place is truly like beyond the tourist spots? What information do you need to gather to make a relocation decision or prep for a big move, and how do you find it? 

If you’re trying to decide which city is right for you, here is some advice for assessing a new place as a potential home base: 

1. Explore like a local. 
While downtowns and tourist-y areas can certainly tell you a lot about the vibe of a city, to truly get a feel for a place, you’ve got to venture beyond the shiny main streets and into the areas where residents actually live, work and play. How do you do this? You get curious. You ask baristas and Lyft drivers and bartenders and concierges for insights into local life — what to eat, where to hang out and how to see the city through the eyes of someone who lives there.

Never underestimate the importance of checking out local eateries.

2. Gather info as you get around. 
You don’t just learn about a city by visiting different places within the city — you learn a lot by physically getting to and from those different places: How easy is it to get around here? What public transit options are available? How accessible and well-connected is the city?

3. Find a connection. 
When you’re pondering a move, it’s crucial to connect with locals to get accurate information and insights into what it’s like to live there. You might think you don’t know anyone in a certain place, but you almost certainly know someone who knows someone, and thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to find those connections. 

4. Reach out to the experts for help. 
A lot of people don’t realize that cities are competing for new residents right now — and that means, more than ever, cities and chambers of commerce are finding creative, proactive ways to help people relocate. 

5. Get lost. 
You need to gather a lot of information when you’re preparing to make a big move. It’s tempting to come at this process from a very logical place: gathering information and data and organizing it into binders and itineraries and pros and cons lists. But here’s the thing: being happy in a place isn’t always a quantifiable or logical thing. A lot of it comes down to just, well, how a place makes you feel.

So if you have a chance to visit the place you’re considering, make some time to put your lists and maps and binders aside and just get lost. Wander around, take wrong turns, talk to strangers and see what you discover. You might stumble upon a place or a person or a moment that makes you realize: yes, this is home. 

What our clients are saying  

“I would highly recommend Kelly to any of my family and friends. She is the person you want to help you when make a life decision such as this.”


~ Abigail, San Antonio, TX

“Kelly knew what had to be done to sell the house. I had another agent for 8 months prior and never had any offers. Kelly did great and worked hard to make this happen."


~ Dianne W

“Kelly's personality, work ethic, and ease of working with Kelly was the true reason we hired her!”


~ Eleanor Rodriguez, San Antonio

“We had another broker but were very dissatisfied. A friend told us to give Kelly Ann Cameron a try and we knew from the 1st meeting that she was going to be successful in selling our home. Very positive and upbeat about things. Gave very good advise on staging and making home look more welcoming therefore getting people interested in our home. Every thing Kelly did for us was on point! Great person!”


~ Catherine Delgado

“It was a pleasure to work with Kelly as my realtor. I greatly appreciate the time she took to ensure that I was well aware of all parts of the buying/selling process and making sure I understood the lingo. She was able to answer all of my questions and made sure I had an enjoyable experience. I highly recommend Kelly Cameron as a realtor!”


~ Logan, San Antonio

“Have worked with Kelly previously on multiple sales and purchases. Also recommended them to family and friends. Everyone was more than satisfied. Kelly always goes above and beyond, is patient, responsive, and really does care. She is never pushy, and will show as many houses as we could stand to make sure we got the perfect home for us. Kelly wants what's in my, buyers, best interest, bottom line. Ensures we are happy with the price and that we are happy with our purchase. Great negotiater - no home is perfect so we able to get items repaired to minimize our effort when we move in. Patient and cares about what we want as opposed to "making the sale". Kelly was extremely responsive and always took my calls/questions or got back to me quickly. I never had to call twice. If I had a question or concern she found out immediately. Took a lot of the burden off our shoulders.”


~ Rick I, Spring Branch, TX

“Kelly was a real pleasure to have as our agent. This was our first home buying experience. I was impressed by her recommendations and willingness to educate us on everything from soil erosion to home maintenance. Kelly was responsive, patient, professional and a lot of fun to be around. She was with us every step of the way and had our best interests in mind.”


~ Shina and Frank Haefeli

“Kelly sold us the home to begin with. She is pleasant to work with, knowledgeable, caring, trustworthy and accessible. I would highly recommend her.”


~ Karen Lindstrom

“Kelly has plenty of experience and is concerned about her customer needs and wants first. She is professional, easy going, knowledgeable, and very hard working. I would recommend her to anyone listing or buying a house.”


~ Cynthia Navarro

“Kelly is fantastic! She did a great job from the moment we hired her and well after closing. She went above and beyond to help us sell our home. Very friendly and professional. I would most definitely use her again and I will be referring to her friends and family.”


~ Selena Bocanegra, San Antonio, Texas

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